Every thought we have and every word we speak goes out into this infinite Universe and stays there. Every thought we have has an effect on us and our planet as well. Gregge Tiffen [Life in the World Hereafter: The Journey Continues & The Journey Continues: In Search of Wisdom – September 2010]
The above quotes got my attention this morning as they were what my eyes landed on in each of the two books I picked up as I began to muse about today’s post. I wondered just what the heck they had to do with an event this week that I’ve been reflecting on and guessed that I’d be writing about.
Last week I wrote about the need for forgiveness to forge peace. Other than questioning the level of my own courage to forgive, my reflections were more global. Said another way, they were more about the world and others than developing my own capacity to forgive.
As is the way of learning, the issue was brought home to me this week in one of those ‘small events of life’ that generated deep reflection and questioning: a conundrum, as yet with no clear ‘answer’. An unresolved conflict between what I claim my values to be and choices I make that aren’t aligned with them. I’m grateful for the curiosity which inspires me to explore and want to sort it out.
This idea that a thought never dies that it goes forth into the Universe forever has my attention in this internal conflict. You see, for all my thoughts of peace breaking out all over the world, I experience being annoyed by and being concerned about the impact on me and my environment by some of nature’s creatures. I call them ‘pests’: mosquitos and mice to name two specifically.
I aim not to give them much energy or attention. But sometimes they demand it. During mosquito season, my inner killer came forth daily as dozens would follow me or guests in the door. Without much thought I swatted them. Dead. Months before, after experiencing an infestation of mice that I was unable to control by natural means, I made the difficult decision to use poison. Unlike mosquito swatting, I made a conscious choice.
I had the awareness that this choice wasn’t aligned with my claim to value non-violence and peace. While it’s been successful in reducing the mouse population, I’ve never been totally at peace. It isn’t what I want to contribute or how I want to express myself in the world. Every choice is after all an expression of me. Yet, I rationalize my decision with the success of not hearing mice scurrying in the walls.
Enter this weekend, a larger creature. In the dark of the night, it took bites out of every piece of fruit in my two fruit bowls and knocked several items off of the kitchen counter. Other ‘evidence’ clearly indicated that it wasn’t a mouse. While I was definitely upset, my thoughts didn’t go to ‘kill it’. And, as I reached out for advice on dealing with the situation, the clearest was to “set a live trap”. That action was a success, and a rascally young pack rat has been relocated to a remote area several miles away and, hopefully, its point of entry sealed: a small victory for non-violence and for own thought process.
Although I’m keenly aware that my thinking and my choice contribute to negativity on the planet and to our human propensity toward violence against one another, I’m not at the place of reversing my mouse control decision. The angst and curiosity of the conundrum will continue at least for a while.